Friday, 28 August 2009

Today's Must Reads

1. Squandered Honeymoon: How Botched Bailouts Hamper Healthcare Reform.

Rob Johnson, over on Huffington Post, does a nice job of taking the long view and connecting the dots between the financial industry bailouts and public anger over health care reform. His analysis supports a belief I hold: that the Obama crew really, really blew it on the financial crisis with the perceived, as Paul Krugman calls it, "kid-gloves treatment of the financial industry." That has embittered and discouraged the citizenry and may be the real fuel behind the outrage over health care reform. Had there been town hall meetings about the bank bailouts, you would have seen some really scary, apoplectic fury.

2. Racketeering 101: Bailed Out Banks Threaten Systemic Collapse If Fed Discloses Information

This entry at Zero Hedge looks at the banks that have borrowed billions of dollars from the Fed, using dicey overinflated collateral as security. They are protesting that their identities should not be made public because the whole financial system could collapse. Geez. Cue the histrionic movie soundtrack. Bring in the Weeping Supplicants Choir.

What the banks are really saying: "Christ, this would be really embarrassing, and we'd rather not have the whole world know and would rather not have to deal with a bunch of unpleasant publicity. Would we really collapse, since there are so many of us on the dole, and the rigor mortis in the credit markets has, after 11 months of crisis, pretty well passed? Nah. We're not gonna collapse. But you know, it would be a pain in the ass, people pointing and snickering at us, asking tough questions, so if we can just do this in secret, you know, we'd like that a whole lot better, and getting through this financial crisis is all about doing what we want, now isn't it?"